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We are welcoming the sentencing of two more men to more than 22 years in prison as part of a drug and firearms investigation in Kirkby.
It brings the total sentencings for the operation so far to more than 74 years.
Yesterday (Wednesday 14 April) at Manchester Crown Court, two more defendants were sentenced, as follows:
40-year-old John Farrell (left) of Minstead Avenue, Westvale was sentenced to 16 years in prison for two counts of conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life; conspiracy to possess a firearm; conspiracy to possess ammunition; conspiracy to possess an explosive substance; and conspiracy to supply Class A drugs
55-year-old Joseph Harding (right) of Cawthorne Avenue, Westvale was sentenced to six years and four months in prison for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs
Previously sentenced were:
Terence Nash, 35 years, of James Holt Avenue, Westvale, who was jailed for 24 years after he was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to possess firearms with intent to endanger life; conspiracy to possess a firearm; conspiracy to possess ammunition; conspiracy to possess an explosive substance; conspiracy to supply Class A drugs; and conspiracy to possess criminal property.
His brother, 36-year-old Anthony Nash of Bracknall Close, Southdene, who was sentenced to 15-and-a-half years in prison after he was found guilty of conspiracy to supply Class A drugs and conspiracy to possess criminal property.
Dennis Boyton, 43 years, of Grantham Avenue, Westvale was sentenced to seven years, three months for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs
Ronnie McPadden, 35 years, of Crosland Road, Southdene was sentenced to six years, four months for conspiracy to supply Class A drugs
Two more men are yet to be sentenced.
The investigation centred around the seizure of drugs and weapons from addresses in Kirkby in 2019, safe houses for an organised crime group headed by the Nash brothers.
On Thursday 19 September 2019, Joseph Harding was stopped in his Toyota Avensis, and half a kilo of cocaine was found, along with cash and a phone. As a result, a house on Minstead Avenue was searched and a safe was found and removed. When it was opened, officers discovered almost 7 kilos of cocaine with a potential street value of up to £690,000; and other paraphernalia.
The following day, Friday 20 September 2019, officers carried out a further search at this address. In the loft, a loaded silver revolver; a black revolver; ammunition; a semi-automatic sawn off shotgun and improvised explosive were found and forensically recovered. The Nash brothers and other defendants were arrested and charged.
Speaking after the first sentencings, Detective Inspector Christopher Lowe said: “This has been a long-running investigation, and we are delighted that this organised crime group have now been dismantled. The Nash brothers ran this crime group, along with a trusted network of associates responsible for the storage and movement of drugs and weapons.
“We are pleased that this massively harmful organised crime group has been removed from our streets for the foreseeable future. We have seen time and again that criminals who use firearms are throwing away their lives and destroying that of others. The sentencing demonstrates just how strongly we will deal with those involved in gun crime and drug supply, and should strongly deter those who are considering this path of criminality, from storing illegal items for others to transporting and supplying them elsewhere.
“Through meticulous investigative work and working closely alongside CPS, these outcomes are a massive blow to those who would seek to profit from serious and organised crime. Drugs destroy lives across our communities, and this group’s collection of firearms and explosives could have caused even more devastation.
Speaking after the sentencings, Knowsley Community Policing Chief Inspector Phil Mullally send: “It is great to see today’s sentencings come in, after an outstanding investigation and a great deal of work with those communities most affected. We know from speaking to people locally on a daily basis that the residents of Kirkby have felt the positive effects of this dangerous crime group being removed from their streets.
“We’ll continue to work with local residents, businesses, partners and other organisations in the area to keep Kirkby as a safe and welcoming place to live, work and visit. If you suspect anyone is storing or carrying drugs or weapons where you are, come forward directly or anonymously and we will do the rest.”
Always call 999 if a crime is in progress. You can also pass information via our social media desk on Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’. You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or via their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.